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28. Accelerating Change With SR&ED Champions

28. Accelerating Change With SR&ED Champions

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Published by SRED Unlimited
Bruce Madole, CMC, examines how difficult it is to affect change in a large organization, and how to make sure a SR&ED program gets off the ground.
Bruce Madole, CMC, examines how difficult it is to affect change in a large organization, and how to make sure a SR&ED program gets off the ground.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: SRED Unlimited on Jan 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/27/2011

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Copyright 2011 Bruce Madole, CMCSR&ED Champions
Accelerating change with SR&ED Champions
Incremental and gradual change always seems like the slowest way to effectchange in a large company – until you’ve tried all the other ways. However, training andrecruiting SR&ED Champions for key points in your organization is one approach that promises to accelerate effective change.What do I mean by the phrase “SR&ED Champion”? I mean a person who:
is both knowledgeable about and experienced with the program criteria andclaims process,
has embraced the strategic importance of the program, as it relates to their own technical or operational domain, and
is able and willing to engage, persuade, and lead others toward the sameconclusions.How do you persuade an organization that, done properly, SR&ED is well worththe effort, if the organization is unfamiliar with (or effectively uncommitted to) theSR&ED program? Any organization can undermine an unfamiliar program by the simpleexpedient of doing a half-hearted job of its initial attempts to introduce it. Doingsomething badly is often the proxy for refusing to do it at all. Every new idea or thing isin a fight to the death with the old ways of working. It is infinitely easier to build a newSR&ED process into a small and growing company than it is to introduce the samechanges to a large firm.
This document is the property of Bruce Madole, CMC, and is used by permission. All rights are reserved. The opinions expressed herein are personal, created for entertainmentand information purposes, and are not intended to be relied on in place of professional counsel or advice. No part of this document may be re-used, transmitted or re-transmittedwithout the express prior written consent of the author, who can be contacted at: brucemadole@sympatico.ca 
 
Copyright 2011 Bruce Madole, CMCSR&ED ChampionsOrganizations resist change exponentially, I think, in ways that somehow exceedthe inertia or resistance of the individuals who make up the organization. Largeorganizations resist change on a grand, unimaginable scale – simple human resistance isaugmented by technical, procedural and policy complexities, not to mention economic barriers, internal and external politics, and inter-personal, organizational and stakeholder issues. Almost any reason you can think of… and many that you can’t imagine … willstand in the way.Even if, like the Pharaoh of Egypt in a certain Hollywood movie, one coulddecree, “So let it be written – so let it be done”, the real effective change would be a longtime in coming. Compliance always lags behind policy, and achieving agreement on the best policy is usually an uphill struggle all its own.This is where the SR&ED Champion idea comes into its own. (Of course, thevery idea of pursuing and adopting such an approach assumes a level of leadership buy-inthat is atypical of many organizations.) The idea is that certain people, key stakeholderswith the right skills, have the ability to really accelerate change. Among these people are:the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), key technical architecture or product development primes, key financial leadership, and key project/program planning and projectmanagement primes.Even given a decree from Pharaoh (or the CEO), it’s hard to achieve effectivecompliance at any level without the engagement of such strategic champions – and youneed them all for different reasons.
This document is the property of Bruce Madole, CMC, and is used by permission. All rights are reserved. The opinions expressed herein are personal, created for entertainmentand information purposes, and are not intended to be relied on in place of professional counsel or advice. No part of this document may be re-used, transmitted or re-transmittedwithout the express prior written consent of the author, who can be contacted at: brucemadole@sympatico.ca 
 
Copyright 2011 Bruce Madole, CMCSR&ED ChampionsThe CTO and/or CIO have vested interests in their future technical vision of thecompany. That’s what they are paid to do – to think ahead and make things happen.(Note: A SR&ED program may appear to be an unwelcome distraction, until it becomesclear that SR&ED is a strategy for mitigating technical risk and the costs of innovation.) No other single individual has as clear a view of the technology gaps and challenges thatneed to be overcome in the pursuit of a technical vision, so the CTO/CIO are vital allies(and critical sponsors) for the success of SR&ED. Also vitally important are the keytechnical primes who variously direct or manage the detailed execution of the technicalvision -- to identify, train, (or even hire), one or more SR&ED Champions within theranks of such individuals is to enforce both leadership and policy traction at a level whereit can become immediately useful.Leadership support from within the Program and/or Project Management Office isalso vitally important, and the same is true of the official “process owners” for technical, product and service development processes -- all of these areas are often required toenforce some degree of change to support SR&ED, depending on the extent to whichcurrent processes actually generate useful technical and costing evidence. These arestakeholders whose support and engagement are essential for driving effective processchange.Finally, and not at all least, key financial and taxation leaders need to be willingto help you make the case that SR&ED is fundamentally worth building into the financialand taxation processes. Creating process-level support for such change is a lot of work,and they need to agree that it’s going to be “worth it” when done properly.
This document is the property of Bruce Madole, CMC, and is used by permission. All rights are reserved. The opinions expressed herein are personal, created for entertainmentand information purposes, and are not intended to be relied on in place of professional counsel or advice. No part of this document may be re-used, transmitted or re-transmittedwithout the express prior written consent of the author, who can be contacted at: brucemadole@sympatico.ca 

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